I test face masks for a living—this Athleta mask is my favorite
You'll love this high-quality mask.
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Face masks have become a new normal since early April and for many people an essential part of their wardrobe. At first, they were hard to find, but since many brands, designers, and retailers have pivoted to making face masks, the market has become saturated with options for styles, colors, and patterns.
Since cloth face coverings were first recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I’ve sifted through and written about many of these options for face masks. As Reviewed’s apparel expert, I’ve tested and have worn dozens of masks and evaluated them for quality, comfort, and fit to find the best ones.
After rigorous testing, we found that our favorite mask was Athleta’s Everyday Non Medical Mask, which won an Editor’s Choice award for Best Overall. Athleta is already known for its high-quality and functional workout and active lifestyle clothing, so it’s not surprising that an Athleta mask would perform well. And we’re not alone with our obsession with the mask—it has quickly gained a following with 4.5 stars from more than 4,000 reviews since launching in May.
I’ve been wearing this for more than seven months now and I find myself reaching for it every time, it has become my go-to mask. Here are my thoughts on why this mask is worth it. Spoiler alert: It’s that amazing.
What is the Athleta Everyday Non Medical Mask?
Athleta’s Everyday Non Medical Mask is a triple-layer cloth face mask designed to offer some protection from COVID-19 particles, but as the name suggests, it’s not a medical-grade mask like an N-95. The three layers consist of two inner layers made with soft cotton and the outer layer is a polyester and spandex blend. It also has a bendable nose piece and adjustable ear loops that help create a better fit.
What I love about the Athleta Everyday Non Medical Mask
The Athleta mask took the top spot in our testing and I can confidently say this is my favorite mask I’ve ever worn. It’s the mask I find myself grabbing for just about every activity such as running errands, working out, and walking around New York City. Unlike other face masks I’ve worn, I can easily wear this one for hours because it’s easier to breathe in and comfortable to wear.
Also, I feel safer wearing it thanks to the multiple layers of fabric, which are proven to be more effective than those that have a single layer. While each layer on this mask is thinner, it strikes a nice balance between protection and breathability—i.e. I can power walk on the street without losing my breath. The adjustable nose piece helps prevent my glasses from fogging up, keeping my vision clear while I walk. It also helps create a snug fit to my face, which is important for protection because it helps prevent particles from getting in. The ear loops are soft and adjustable which helps with a better fit and makes it easy to put the mask on and take it off.
Lastly, the mask comes in a variety of stylish colors and patterns, but if you’re not a fan of the colors or patterns, they have plain black masks as well.
What I don’t like about the Athleta Everyday Non Medical Mask
There isn’t much not to like about the Athleta Everyday Non Medical Mask—except when you’re washing them. The one drawback is that the washing instructions are to lay flat to dry, meaning I have to sort through my washed clothes and pull them out which is a hassle because it takes extra time.
When I first got these masks, I would take the time to sort out the masks from the rest of my laundry, but now I’ve gotten lazy and just throw the masks in the dryer with the rest of my clothes. However, the masks have gotten out of shape and the pleats no longer lay as flat, causing the material to bunch more. This makes it a bit harder to breathe because the material doesn’t sit as nicely off my face. Though, it’s hard to say this wouldn’t happen from everyday use, even if I didn’t put them in the dryer.
Is it worth it?
Yes, without a doubt this mask is worth it! This is my go-to mask for every activity for all the reasons mentioned above, especially how easy it is to breathe. Plus, I feel more protected wearing multiple layers and a better, customized fit. These masks have lasted me seven months without falling apart.
While these masks are not as inexpensive as our Best Value option, the Old Navy mask, which cost only $12.50 for a 5-pack, you can get a 5-pack for from Athleta $20, making them a better deal compared to masks that cost $20 or more for a single mask. Plus, if you’re like me and throw these in the dryer, you may want to have extras on hand if they get out of shape.